Outrage over a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in Eric Garner’s death continued to be felt in cities around the country Friday, with protesters in Miami shutting down a highway, demonstrations in New York and Chicago, and a march of more than 1,000 people in the Boston area.
"We are animals to them [the police]. If we’re animals and you’re afraid of us, how can you really protect us? You’re not going to try," said Stephenetta Harmon, one of about 40 protesters who gathered in the rain near Wall Street in New York City Friday. "We are upset and hurt beyond reasoning right now."
Hundreds of protesters stormed the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, chanting “black lives matter" and "I can't breathe,” according to NBC New York. After leaving the store, the demonstrators proceeded to Macy’s in Herald Square and staged “die-ins” at Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park.
In Miami, a group of protesters — upset not only by the Garner decision but also a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown and last year’s death of Israel "Reefa" Hernandez in Miami Beach — entered Interstate 195 and shut down both lanes of traffic, NBC Miami reported.
In Massachusetts, a crowd estimated to be more than 1,000 strong marched nearly two miles from Somerville to Cambridge, where several hundred and staged a "die-in" in Harvard Square, NECN reported.
In Oakland, hundreds of protesters temporarily shut down lanes on Interstate 880 at Market Street, but shortly before 12:30 am ET, the California Highway Patrol Golden Gate Division announced the highway had been cleared.
A New York grand jury declined to indict white NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner, who died July 17 after being wrestled to the ground in what has been described as a chokehold, in an incident that was caught on video and captured the unarmed Garner gasping, "I can’t breathe!" That decision came a week after a grand jury in Missouri declined to indict a white Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson, in the shooting death of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.
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